"The old pieces date from the twenties and thirties and are English. Most of them are brooches, and a smaller number are pendants (judging by size, and the fact that charm bracelets were not popular in the twenties).
Although the patent for reverse-painted jewelry with a butterfly-wing background was issued earlier, the jewelry became popular in 1924 because of an exhibit at the British Empire Exhibition by the firm Thomas L. Mott (the same company as TLM, known to charm-lovers for their enamels).
Hoffman started making butterfly-wing jewelry in the late thirties and is still making it, I believe, pretty much all hex signs at this point. The quality is fairly good, though not what it was--and nothing is hand-painted, as all the old English stuff was." Joan Munkacsi
"There are two that I see (99% of the time that is).
Made in England- probably the most typical and usually set in
sterling silver. These are the ones that seem to be the most
desirable, at least for me anyway.
and Hoffman- an American company. is what their Hallmark looks
like. They are Frederick S. Hoffman and Company, and out of New York,
NY right around 1930-40. I have seen these set in sterling silver,
and in white metal with rhodium (stay-bright) finish.
I also see the ones that have scenes of Rio on them- and they always
seem to be marked 800 or 900 silver." Carolyn Sunday
According to Warman's Jewelry:
"A unique type of collectible jewelry, which appears to be
attracting to a growing number of collectors, originated in
England.However, its primary component, the wings of the Morpho
butterly, came from South America. Several British firms made these
pieces, which usually consist of a reverse-painted scene or a white
sulphide bas-relief(reminiscent of Wedgewood jasperware) backed with
an iridescent blue butterfly wing ground, a domed glass cover, and
usually a sterling silver frame and back. The backs are often
marked with a British patent number, granted to Shipton & Co. of
Brinmingham, England in 1923."
That is found on page 137 and there is an unusual yellow butterfly
wing pin pictured on the same page." Lilly Vittetow.
"Unfortunately, the delicate material of the butterfly wing is subject to deterioration and many of the old pieces have spots of
deterioration or are completely deteriorated.The giveaway is
dead spots in the lovely irridescense, a rusty or dirty appearance.
Under magnification these areas of scales will appear "ruffled" in
comparison to the undamaged areas." Jan Gaughan
Date(s): January 23, 2006. Album by Jewelry Ring. 1 - 28 of 28 Total. 12372 Visits.
10 English sterling reverse-painted pendant, c. 1930, by Thomas L. Mott Ltd., whose exhibit of butterfly wing jewelry at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924 set off a craze for it. Marked SILVER / TLM on the reverse; 11/16 by 1/2 inch.
Compliments of Joan Munkacsi
11 A tiny (5/16") reverse-painted English butterfly wing charm, c. 1930. Although it doesn't look like it in the photo, the bird's entire body is made from Morpho butterfly wing; the head is gilt. Marked SILVER / LH.
Compliments of Joan Munkacsi
12 Antique English Silver Butterfly & Opal Brooch. This piece is Awesome. Its hand painted on Butterfly Wing, and the bottom of the dress is pieces of Opals. Its mounted in English Sterling Silver.